Info bill will limit media freedom - survey

2012-07-05 22:29

Johannesburg - Almost half of South Africans say the protection of state information bill will limit media freedom, according to a survey released on Thursday.

"Forty-four percent of South Africans believe that the proposed information bill will limit media freedom," market research company Ipsos said in a statement.

Thirteen percent of respondents said the proposed legislation would not limit media freedom. A third - 29% - were neutral, and 14% of those surveyed had no opinion.

The poll was conducted on 3 565 South Africans between April and May this year.

When analysed along party lines, the survey found that 51% of Democratic Alliance supporters believe the bill will limit media freedom.

"ANC supporters display slightly more faith in the bill with a lower percentage - 44% - believing that the bill will limit freedom of the media," Ipsos said.

The survey found six out of 10 South Africans agree with the statement that access to information and a free media are basic human rights.

On political lines, 62% of African National Congress supporters agreed, while some 68% of DA supporters shared this view.

Almost half of South Africans - 46% - said if the information bill became law it would be easier to hide corruption and fraud.

Fifty-five percent of DA supporters were of this view, compared to 44% of ANC supporters.

More than half of South Africans believe the government is not doing well in the fight against corruption in its ranks.

Seventy-two percent of DA supporters saw government as failing to fight corruption, in contrast to 42% of ANC supporters.

"On the flip side, just over half (53%) of ANC supporters give the government some credit and believe that it is performing well in fighting corruption," Ipsos said.

The protection of state information bill was passed by the National Assembly late last year following two years of sustained public opposition from media houses, rights groups and ANC ally, the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

An ad hoc committee of the National Council of Provinces looking into the bill was supposed to report back to the NCOP at the end of June. It, however, had to request an extension after ANC MPs and the department of state security deadlocked on proposed changes.

The department rejected proposals by the ruling party to give greater protection to whistle-blowers, to remove all minimum prison sentences from the bill, and to narrow the definition of national security.

  • dee.hunt.980 - 2012-07-05 23:29

    Umm.... Was this an intelligence test?

  • - 2012-07-05 23:37

    i bet you the government did this survey in a poor area of a township where mostly uneducated people reside while handing out food hampers to the 13% of respondents that said the proposed legislation would not limit media freedom. And also to the 29% - who were neutral, and the 14% of those surveyed who had no opinion, got "chicken lickin" vouchers for their opinion. I bet you they do their surveys in places where the ANC has majority vote. Go to boksburg and let's hear the outcome then. I am so sick and tired of this government and it's constant propaganda.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-07-06 05:37

    Umm.. Did I read correctly?? Survey done ONLY on 3565 people.. Ja-well-no-fine.

  • mxeki.maduvula - 2012-07-06 07:13

    What is due to Caesar(ANC) must be given on to Caesar - and what belongs to God (masses) you better give it up to God. - 2012-07-06 09:37

      @mxeki.maduvula or what bro? clearly you have not had a good beating in your life your comments are stupid man

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-07-06 08:05

    Why the Info Bill to restrict te media and information.. if they did not do something wrong or have something to hide that will harm South Africa's image and trust?. This Bill.. Or just the mentioning of it will definately harm the country.. Specially a country who want investments and promise to be truthfull.

  • mongwadi - 2012-07-06 08:27

    Hell no!

  • badballie - 2012-07-06 12:08

    If one considers that the vast majority of South Africans are rural backs with little or no formal education, and who are largely cut off from current events, and who it would be expected would have very little knowledge of the legislation, then these results are very encouraging. That the intent of this law is to silence the ANC's detractors and facilitate their plans of a one party state (spelled "DICTATORSHIP" in Zulu) is without question, that they actually believe that anyone else believes the feces they spew never fails to amuse and amaze.

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